We think of “spring cleaning” as deep down, all-the-way cleaning – clearing and purging every nook and cranny. Your time management needs to be deep-cleaned now and then too! If you are overwhelmed with task lists, to-do lists, and appointments, then try “spring cleaning” your calendar!
If a meeting or group you’ve been attending for years no longer serves you, it may be time to use that time for something that does. Or, if you find you’re out of time at the end of the week and haven’t accomplished all your goals, maybe some of those activities need to stop.
Here are three simple steps you can take to clean up and organize your calendar. (Also take a look at this post for more suggestions.)
1. Start by making one HUGE list of everything.
- Things you “need to do”
- Things you “want to do”
- Things you “should do”
- Things you “are doing”
You can capture these tasks on paper, in your iPhone, on your laptop. The medium does not really matter; just get everything out of your head. Don’t worry if the tasks are important or not, just capture them.
2. Now – prioritize.
- Put an “A” next to every task that is IMPORTANT NOW
- Put a “B” next to every task that is IMPORTANT SOON
- Write a “C” next to the tasks that are IMPORTANT SOMEDAY
- Finally, put a “D” next to the tasks that MIGHT BE IMPORTANT SOMEDAY.
Look at all the “A” tasks. Which of those could be delegated? Ask yourself, “Am I the only one who can do this task?” If you can answer “NO,” then this is a task you can delegate – put an “ * ” next to it. Go through the same process with your “B” tasks.
Next, try to cut down on the number of “C” and “D” tasks. Can you delegate any? If you can, put an “ * ” by them. Can you remove any? Ask yourself this key question when deciding whether or not to eliminate a task: “What is the worst thing that could happen if this task isn’t completed?” If you can live with the answer to that question, then cross the task off the list.
Now you have started to narrow down your task list to a manageable number. Assign a person or company to each the tasks you identified with an “ * ” to delegate. Then, look at your “A” tasks and prioritize the top three. These are the tasks you should complete first.
Schedule 60 minutes in your calendar to complete the following tasks.
- Capture all the tasks you need to do.
Prioritize your tasks A, B, C, or D.
- Identify A and B tasks you can delegate.
- Delegate to friends, family, virtual assistants, coworkers, others in your field. (You can learn more about delegating here.)
- Identify C and D tasks you can delete.
- Schedule additional time in your calendar each month to repeat this process.
Do these suggestions seem useful to you? Then share them!
I have a gift for you that might help as well. You know that there are only 168 hours in the week, right? That’s why it’s so important to use them wisely. Click below to download your very own SystemSavvy Magic 168 Action Guide, to help you understand how you currently use your 168 hours.